Part 6: Interview with Julie Ryan McGue, Author of Belonging Matters

Introducing “Belonging Matters: Conversations on Adoption, Family, and Kinship” by Julie Ryan McGue

“Belonging Matters” is a book that addresses adoption and its impact on identity, family, and kinship. It encourages readers to contemplate the significance of belonging in shaping personal experiences and relationships. The book supports the adoption community while engaging those outside it in meaningful conversations about acceptance and inclusion. Ultimately, it highlights the importance of belonging in enriching our lives and driving us toward fulfillment.

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  • How does “Belonging Matters” challenge readers to reevaluate their preconceptions about adoption?

For those not touched by adoption personally, Belonging Matters, offers an inside view as to what it feels like to be an adoptee from a closed adoption, a person struggling to own their personal story, and to gain access to family medical history and genealogy. Being allowed into the conversation, allows the reader to change preconceived notions and become an informed member of society.

  • How does the book delve into the emotional journey of adoptees?

Each essay in the first section of the book deals with an aspect of the emotional journey of the adoptee with regards to identity, belonging, search and reunion, and building healthy relationships.

  • What are some of the ethical dilemmas discussed in the book regarding adoption processes?

Many of the essays presented in the book deal with the information on an original birth record that an adoptee is not allowed access to because of state adoption statutes. The inaccuracy of some of the details on that document is also discussed, as well as the gatekeepers that safeguard the information according to rigid and antiquated state laws.

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